Canberra District Shiraz/Viognier



Dr John Kirk founded Clonakilla vineyard at Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra,...

in 1971 after his scientific curiosity led him to question why vines were not being grown in this area. His research showed that the soil and climate seemed suited to certain varieties. Clonakilla means 'meadow of the church' and is the name of Dr Kirk's grandfather's farm in County Clare, Ireland. In 1997 Tim Kirk, the fourth of John's six sons, took over responsibility for winemaking. Today, Clonakilla is recognised as one of the leading estates in Australia. Tim was named Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2013.

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The fruit comes from two adjacent, family-owned vineyards just outside the village of Murrumbateman in the cool Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Murrumbateman's elevation is 600 metres above sea level. 'Canberra District' is the official geographical indicator for the winegrowing district around Canberra, Australia's capital city.

Vintage Information

2010 was initially a very warm year with early budburst and flowering. The season cooled in mid-January and the region experienced a few rainy periods. This had the effect of delaying the harvest dates by two weeks, vintage in the Canberra District started in mid-March and was completed by mid-April and the warm weather returned to finish off the season. Yields were lower than average and the cooler finish gave the wines a defined varietal flavour spectrum with cool climate spice and wild herbs.


Each vineyard block is kept separate through the winemaking and maturation process until final blend selections are made prior to bottling. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted three days, with 20% whole bunches. The wine spent an average of three weeks on the skins, followed by 12 months in French oak, of which 30% was new and the rest a combination of one, two and three year old barrels. The oak was all French and the coopers included Francois Freres, Sirugue, Mercurey and Taransaud.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of violets, rose petals, raspberries and cracked pepper. Classically cool-climate in style, it has a gentle, spice-laden, medium-bodied palate with feather-fine tannin.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2010
Grape varieties 95% Syrah/Shiraz
5% Viognier
Region Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Winemaker Tim Kirk
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 5.1g/l
Residual Sugar 2.5g/l
Wine pH 3.84